Monday, August 27, 2012

BWCA. . . um, and Lutsen

Here is the long version of how our trip to the Boundary Waters went.
We were super excited to have our monstrous canoe on the car!
The girls were thrilled to get their own paddles

I was just happy to be there.  Goodbye car!  Goodbye phones!

Lucy really did try to leave without us.

But, we managed to keep her on the beach until we got in. 
The way out was fabulous!  Everyone was in great spirits.  This picture pretty much sums it up.  I love this one.

The only thing that worried us, was the wall of dark clouds behind us.  Thankfully, the site that we wanted was open and wasn't too long of a paddle from the entry point.  We had the only campsite on a small island and it was fun to have it all to ourselves.  We picked what we thought was a nice flat spot to pitch the tent and got it up quickly.  Just about as soon as we were in, it started to rain.  Not so bad,though.  The girls thought it was fun, we had some games to play.
Then we realized, that our tent was not exactly waterproof.  Our seems and zippers started to fail and leak.  We watched water drip into the tent.  At some point, I moved one of the sleeping pads so the girls had more room.  That is when I noticed that the floor of the tent was moving. . . like a water bed.  Our nice flat spot was a few inches of semi-dry mud over rock. We were basically in a big shallow bowl and that bowl was now full of water.  When we went near the center of the tent, water gushed in a hole in the floor.  The hole, somehow was the exact size of my pinky finger, so for the duration of this rain, I sat in the middle of the tent with my finger plugging a hole.
Then something hit the tent, then something else.  Golf ball sized hail!  After a minute or two, it got smaller and came down about dime sized for a few more minutes.
When it stopped, we were all still pretty happy, just a little wet,but still having fun.  Jer and I let the girls go play and quickly took all of the heavy stuff out of the tent, moved it to a better spot and towel dried the floor with our camp towels.  The bottom of our sleeping pads were wet, but not too bad. 
This is how the girls occupied themselves:
So, by then it was pretty late.  We got the girls washed off in the lake, into warm clothes and into the sleeping bags we went.  At about midnight a flash of light woke me up.  I spent the next 4 and a half hours more scared than I have ever been outside.  I have never seen closer, brighter lightning or heard louder thunder.  Every time it would lightning, Jer and I could see each other staring across the tent.  We didn't want to talk about it and scare the girls.  Lucy woke up several times saying that she wanted to go home and Ellen was curled up with me in my sleeping bag with her hands over her ears shaking.
It was completely overwhelming.  Our tent was once again leaking steady drops.  My feet were soaked and there was constant, bright lightning.  At about 4:30 am, it finally died down to just a steady rain.  We woke a few hours later, pretty soaked.
The weather report showed that there was a chance of storms again the next night, so we decided to pack up and head in. 
On the paddle back to the entry point, there was a break in the clouds.  We stopped at a different camp site for a little break and even got to do some swimming.  It was a good ending to the short trip.  The girls had fun.  There are however, no pictures since we let the girls skinny dip!
Since we had a few days left, we headed to one of our favorite family spots that was pretty close.  Lutsen!
We hit the chair lift and headed for the Alpine Slide.

We spent some time in Grand Marais at the lakefront and found a new favorite restaurant.  Dockside Fish Market.  Fresh, waterfront seating and Delish!!

We did a little hiking too.

So, not quite what we expected, but still a super fun family vacay.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Lucy's Baptism

Our little Lucy has decided that she wants to follow Jesus and give her life to him! 
She came to us a few months ago and told us that she wanted to be baptized.  We asked her if she knew what it meant and why she wanted to do it. This is what she said:
I love God and I trust Him.  I want to be baptized because I want to follow Jesus.

Each year our church does baptisms at Lake Nokomis.  When we told Lucy that she could be baptized in the lake, she said "That is neat because Jesus was baptized in a lake too!"

We are so proud of her.  Here are some pictures of the special day.

Monday, August 6, 2012


China Outreach!
Several people from our church take part in a program to help Chinese students who are coming to study at the University of MN.  This year, we decided to host a student who would be coming to MN and needed a home to stay in for a few days until her apartment would be ready.  We had a name, a short description, and a time and place to pick up our student.  We knew how her name was spelled, but definetly not how to pronounce it.  Still, we were very excited to meet her!

Lucy and Ellen made a big red sign to bring to the airport.

 Lucy did a great job of holding our sign up high so Nirui could find us.

Finally we got to meet her.  Nee-Ray we learned was how to pronounce her name and this was her first time to leave China.  She spoke english very well and the girls were immediately in love with her!

 Our gifts from China
Niruri brought a scarf, a little outfit for Ellen, a purse for Lucy and some tea from her home city.  She is from Xi'an.  Her city has a population of 8 million.

 The girls with Nirui at her new apartment

Although, Nirui is no longer staying with us, her apartment is close.  We spent some time with her again yesterday and hope to continue a wonderful relationship that has started.  Although, I'm sure she is exhausted by the time she leaves us since the girls ask her how to say every word they can think of in Chineese.